Hiking to Grinnell Glacier
The hike to Grinnell Glacier was the most strenuous hike that we did in Glacier National Park. We had initially planned to hike to Iceberg Lake, but it was closed due to animal activity (we heard from other hikers that it was a bear feeding on a carcass).
Fortunately, the Many Glacier area had another hike that I had picked out as my backup plan. The Grinnell Glacier trailhead and the Iceberg trailhead are fairly close to each other near the picnic ground there at Many Glacier.
The drive into the area was beautiful. It's North of the Going to the Sun Road, so we exited the park at St. Mary's and drove North to enter the park again. The Grinnell Glacier hike had a greater elevation gain than Iceberg, but I was still looking forward to it.
And I was not disappointed.
It was stunning.
Yes, it was hard. But really, it was the last little bit up to Grinnell Lake that was the most steep. We took frequent breaks and stopped for a snack on a big flat rock. Bring your binoculars, because this is a great place for bighorn sheep spotting.
As we progressed along the trail, we could see the glacial water lakes dot the landscape behind us. Before reaching the summit to the lake, there's a little rest area with a couple benches and a pit toilet.
Once we reached the glacier and lake, you could walk right down to the shore. I stuck my finger in and obviously it was incredibly cold. I had read that people jump into Iceberg, but I didn't see anyone doing that here.
The wind suddenly got really biting once we reached the lake and we had to put on our jackets before we had a picnic lunch near the ice. The trail was really busy, but it was high tourist season and Iceberg being closed could probably account for that.
It's a beautiful hike and I highly recommend it for your trip to Glacier National Park.